Gulf urges Iran to be ‘positive’ on nuclear talks


ABU DHABI: Gulf Arab leaders meeting in Abu Dhabi appealed on Tuesday to Iran to “respond positively” to talks with world powers about the Islamic republic’s contentious nuclear programme.
Gulf Cooperation Council states “welcome international efforts, including those made by the P5+1, to peacefully resolve Iran’s nuclear crisis and hope it will respond positively to these efforts,” said a joint GCC statement.
They also stressed the “right of all countries in the region to develop civilian nuclear energy within the standards and under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).”
Iran on Tuesday wrapped up two days of talks in Geneva with the P5+1 grouping of UN Security Council permanent members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany. The statement came at the conclusion of a two-day annual summit of the council, which brings together Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The summit came after US diplomatic cables released by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks revealed fears among Gulf Arab states that Iran’s nuclear programme masks a drive to build an atomic bomb, a charge Tehran denies.
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah was quoted in one of the leaked cables as saying the United States should “cut off the head of the snake” in reference to military action against Iran.
And Bahrain’s King Hamad told US General David Petraeus the Iranian “programme must be stopped… The danger of letting it go on is greater than the danger of stopping it.”